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The Five-Step Approach to Managing Anger

Do you get angry easily and wonder why? Have you felt like you just wake up angry?

Our responses to such situations decide who are and also how others see us. Our anger might be an outcome of different reasons. Some of it may be the because of the changes that your body is going through. We all know that hormones can cause mood swings and confused emotions. Or it may be due to stress. People who are under a lot of pressure tend to get angry easily. It might even be your personality, as you may be someone who feels your emotions intensely or tends to act impulsively or lose control. And part of it may be your role models. Maybe you've seen other people in your family getting really furious when they're mad.

No matter what pushes your triggers are, one thing is certain — you're sure to get angry sometimes. Everyone does. There is nothing bad about getting angry as it is a normal emotion. What matters is how we handle our anger and ourselves when we're mad.

The Five-Step Approach to Managing Anger

Here’s a problem-solving approach to manage your anger. Each step involves answering a few questions to yourself after weighing your choices.

Let's take this example: You are going out with your friends and your mom has just told you to clean your room or stay home. And now you’re really angry!

1) Identify the problem: Start by observing what you're angry about and why. Put into words what is it that is making you upset.

Ask yourself: Why am I angry? You can either do this quietly in your mind or out loud in words, but remember to keep it clear and specific.

2) Think of potential solutions before responding: This is where you stop for a minute to give yourself time to manage your anger. This is also where you think on how you might react — but without reacting yet.

Ask yourself: What can I do? Think of at least three things. For example, in this situation you might think:

(a) I could yell at Mom and throw a tantrum.

(b) I could clean my room and then ask if I could go then.

(c) I could sneak out anyway.

3) Consider the outcomes of each solution: Here you think about what is likely to happen after you react to each of the situations separately. 

Ask yourself: What will be the result for each one of the options? For example:

(a) Yelling at your mother will get you in more trouble, you might be even grounded.

(b) Cleaning your room takes work and you may get late (but maybe that adds to your mystique). With this option, you get to go with your friends and your room's clean so you don't have to worry about it for a while.

(c) Sneaking out may also be impractical as pretty unlikely that you would be away for hours and no one would notice. And don't even mention what will happen if you get caught.

4) Make a decision: This is where you take action by choosing one of the three things you could do. Take a deep look at the list and choose the one option that is most likely to be effective.

Ask yourself: What's my best choice? By the time you've thought it through, you're probably past yelling at your mom, and that sneaking out is too risky. So (a) and (c) are not the good options top consider. Option (b) though would be the best choice.

Once you choose, it's time to act on it.

5) Check your progress: After you've acted and the situation is over, spend some time thinking about how it went.

Ask yourself: How did I do? Did things work out as I expected? If not, why not? Am I satisfied with the choice I made? It's important to take a look on how things worked out after it's all over. As this will help you in learning about yourself and understand as to which problem-solving approaches works best for you in different situations.

if the solution you chose worked well, give yourself a pat on the back. Otherwise, go back through the above mentioned five steps and try to see why it didn't worked.

It is pretty simple to say about it when you're calm but much difficult to work through when you're angry. So keep practicing it.

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Getting enough sleep

Researchers suggest that a teenager needs 8 to 10 hours of sleep every day. This is more than that of kids and adults. However, ironically, teens are the ones taking sleep for granted and not having enough of it.

Majority of the teenagers do not get enough sleep. This is usually because of two reasons, either their schedules are overloaded or they spend too much of time on the internet, sometimes until dawn. Whatever the reason may be, missed sleep can result into sleep deficit, which in turn would lead to difficulty in concentration, studying or other physical activities too. Sleep deficit might also lead to depression.

So what to do to ensure that you are getting a good night sleep? Here a few tips from our teentalk expert:

Fix a schedule: Go to bed at a set time each night and get up at the same time each morning. Disrupting this schedule may lead to insomnia. If you can, avoid night shifts, alternating schedules, or other things that may disrupt your sleep schedule.

Avoid caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol: Avoid smoking and caffeine for at least eight hours before bedtime. Sources of caffeine include coffee, chocolate, soft drinks, etc. Don't eat heavy meals before bedtime.

Relax before sleeping: A warm bath, reading or another relaxing routine can make it easier to fall asleep.

Don't lie in bed awake: If you can't sleep, don't just lie in bed. Do something else, like reading, watching television, or listening to music until you feel tired.

Control your bedroom atmosphere: Like use comfortable bedding, limit noises, comfortable temperature, stay away from electronic gadgets.

Apart from this indulge in some physical exercise daily for 15-20 minutes; consume foods that improve sleep quality like Pineapple, dark chocolates, etc. It may not be easy though, as curing insomnia often means improving your sleep hygiene and establishing habits that are more conducive to good sleep. But it is possible, as most sleep disorders can be treated effectively.

If you have a story to share, Email it to us HERE.

If you have a query, Email it to us HERE.

You can also chat with the counsellor by clicking on Teentalk Expert Chat.

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Disclaimer: TeentalkIndia does not offer emergency services and is not a crisis intervention centre, if you or someone you know is experiencing acute distress or is suicidal/self harming, please contact the nearest hospital or emergency/crisis management services or helplines.